Suncor Energy (TSX, NYSE:SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas company, was recently able to improve its safety records and increase productivity after the firm put in practice a pilot project aimed at training haul truck operators using both computer-based and hands on tools.
The experiment, based on what it is known a blended learning, allowed the Calgary-based firm to reduce safety incidents by 50% while increasing productivity by 3.5%.
The reason is as simple as it is obvious, explains Simon Houlding, Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., and head of EduMine, the professional development division.
“Too often, haul truck operator trainees don’t retain enough of the knowledge they learn during training. That can lead to longer on-boarding cycles, lower productivity and potential safety problems in the mine,” Houlding says.
In his experience, field training tends to be not as structured as it needs to be, and it relies on experienced operators to pass on their knowledge. “At best, operator training is inconsistent; in the worst case, bad habits or inaccurate and unsafe practices are passed on to the new hire, which are difficult to correct,” Houlding notes.
Blended learning – providing training via multiple modalities using a highly structured, building-block approach – shows a lot of promise in addressing this challenge, the expert says.
VISTA Training partners with EduMine to provide its blended learning technology for operator training as part of the Campus+ training package. You can find more information about it here.